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mission. the senior sa senior advisor sae noticed the pope slowing down. we watched pope john paul ii suffer through the last few years of his papacy. maybe he wanted to avoid that. the former cardinal joseph ratzinger was touched by the charges of child abuse in the catholic church. bill: what happens next on the dates that are aren't? >> reporter: he's leaving february 28, 8:00 p.m. local time in rome. that leaves that very important vacancy and sets up a conclave of cardinals. vatican says by mid-march at the latest. vatican says we should have a new pope by esther sunday march 31. pope benedict will not take part in the conclave. usually a conclave happens after a pope dies. 1415 was the last time a pope quit in office. who is the next pope? he could come from developing areas of the world. it guarantees a lot of drama and a lot of black or white smoke coming from the roof is sistine chapel. march report concerns about the pope's health surfaced this past christmas eve. have it can watchers say he looked frail as he delivered the midnight mass. here he is riding in a motorized car
, a globe-trotting predecessor, pope john paul ii, but pope benedict rose to the occasion, tacking trips to cube barks the united states, europe, the middle east, he really got around and got his message out, and he was very fond of keeping. he is a teacher, an intellectual so he tried to get his message to as many people as possible, from the very young to the very old. this last day in office will be february 28th. then there will be a conclave of cardinals and it's expected that position will be in the position in time to conduct an easter service. greg? >> amy kellogg, live in rom. >>> at catholics the world over react to this news, some are already looking at the legacy pope benedict will leave behind. most in the church view the pontiff as a conservative. not in favor of vary men reforms. he'll also be remembered as the church's leader during the child bows scandal that rocked the world. he apologized for the years of decades by priest, even meeting with the victims. >> joining us now with analysis, former fox news correspondent and now the vatican senior communications advisor,
2. both he and john paul ii saw their papacies an attempt to interpret vatican too properly. not so much a modernization of the church, vatican ii was an evangelical missionary council. to some degree modernizing to make the church a more apt meaning to that. hence the wide travel for example of john paul ii, hence the great teaching of benedict xvi. i think that's his major legacy. >> they're very different at least in their style and in their i guess pastor abilities in some way, although not very different philosophically. >> this has been a really unsuccessful papacy and the greatest single act of his papacy is that our church is in real trouble and i am not able to cope with the trouble that we're in. i think there are some of the cardinals that are hoping that the next pope that they elect will convene a vatican 3, something that will set the church on a new course, reach out to the modern world, instead of what has happened under john paul ii as well in terms of the theology and benedict which has been a look backwards in terms of what the theology means, what the role of the
intellectual who consolidated and continued the legacy of john paul ii. a boulder more confident catholic church, more willing to engage in public debates, but part of benedict's legacy will inevitably the scandals on his watch. particularly the exploding sex abuse scandals across the catholic world, not just in the west and the united states, but other parts of the world, and also the -- the massive vatican leak scandal that rocked this place in the last couple of years, which led to sort of internal meltdown in terms of the aberrations of the place so on the one hand, a strong, confident leader, who presided, whether it's his fault or force of circumstance, over some of the most serious scandals ever to rock the vatican, an important and mixed legacy. >> john, you mentioned -- according to you and people who watch this very, very closely. much more closely than the rest of us really, he been giving some signs, signals, laying the ground work for the possibility of resignation. and he had some health issues as well and that could come as news to some people. we've seen a pope. most peopl
appointed by john paul ii and benedict xvi. the growth in the catholic church these days is in latin america. is in asia and is in africa. will they go outside europe and possibly choose a pope from one of the other church is growing? that's one of the questions a lot of people are asking today. >> the author of the pew book evangelical catholicism, deep reform in the 21st century church. got a copy here. just hot off the presses. to write this book you deeply reporting and, of course, you have known pope benedict xvi for 23 years since he was cardinal ratzinger. tell us about this process, first of all, the decision which, as you have said and others, this comes from great humility. >> it's a real reflection of the character of the man. this is someone who has never thrust himself into the public eye. he is shy scholar. he is extraordinarily lucid mind, and if he decided in conscience and prayers, as he put it together, that he could not give the church the service the church deserved, then i think we ought to take him on face value at that. in this book evangelical catholicism, i describe
chose him to succeed john paul ii. one of his biggest tasks was responding to the priest's sex abuse scandal. pope benedict issued an apology to victims and said the church made serious mistakes. today the pontiff calls his choice to resign quote delia goncalves continues our coverage. >> reporter: good afternoon j.c. the mass here at 12:10 starts at the basilica expects to be full of parishioners here to pray for the pope, are pray for his next chapter and the next chapter of the catholic church. monday mass at the basilica and the pope's resignation on the minds of many. it makes him more relatable to the people, not just this political figure and religious figure. >> with sadness, pope benedict has been such an inspirational leader for the church. >> he was himself a university professor and his writings are really pro found. >> reporter: john garvey, president of catholic university of america says the pope's visit five years ago left a lasting impression on campus. garvey admits the noun 895-year-old pontiff looks frail even back then, yet remained a giant figure. >> in some way
to retire. he asked pope john paul ii, once not if twice, if he could retire and john paul ii would not let him do that. he wanted to go back to bavaria and live with his brother. he wanted to go back to what he loves which is reading and writing. john paul said no, i need you here. pope john paul ii died and then he became pope. benedict is a far shyer man, he's a gentle man, he's far more than intellectual. he never sucked in the oxygen of the crowd. he at times, ren sant. since he announced his abdication, i have been struck by how much he relieved he looks. he actually ad lib when he got up there. when i looked at his prepared text. heed a lib an aline, people say that the church is declining but i see the church as alive, because that crowd was filled with enthusiasm and energy yesterday. you know, you have seen when he met with some priests here in rome about a week ago, he was supposed to deliver a speech about the second vatican -- vatican ii, he was there at the time, that happened 50 years ago. he said no, i can't do that because of my advanced age. 85 has become his excuse to be
another pope could change the rule. john paul ii is the one who put that into place. >> just speculation a lot of names being floated. who seems to be the top contenders. >> players keep changing. everybody seems to focus on an italian. he's the president of the council for culture. there's also cardinal who is the archbishop of milan. very much like pope benedict. another out of canada he hadz a powerful congregation of the bishops. also another italian president of the italian bishop's conference. >> also cardinal turkson of ghana. >> he would be the first african pope. i have been watching the video here and we have seen kind of pictures of cardinal turk son. also there's another african that has been speculated at the last conclave. he could possibly be the first african pope. now he is over 80 and chances are he won't elect him because of his age. after the pope steps down because of his aging pope at age 85 they are not going to go with an older pope. they will have someone who has stamina of running the church and also being the shepherd of souls. >> with all of the talk the first
pope in hundreds of years. elected in 2005, he succeeded john paul ii. there have been recent concerns about his health and he's needed help walking, but a vatican spokesperson insists he's not facing anything grave. the cardinals will elect his replacement and hope that can happen by holy week. >> they're looking for someone to preserve the court teachings of the church and be a faith in the church. >> reporter: holy watchers say there doesn't appear to be a front runner. many wonder if the time has come for a non-european leader. >> and more reaction now. an event so rare, it hasn't happened in 600 years. there is shock and appreciation for his bold move. tom fitzgerald gathered reaction from cardinals to parishioners. safe to say no one saw this coming. >> reporter: you're right. in fact, the cardinal told reporters here in washington that he recently visited the pope in rome and that the holy water gave no hint what -- father gave no hint what he was thinking about. after seven years, pope benedict xvi's relatively brief papacy, the end of which is being met with surprise. >> to si
didn't see anything like what we saw during the twilight of the john paul years, with the series of hospitalizations here in rome, or sort of spectacular public collapses, i think it's more simply that benedict xvi's diagnosis is that he's going to be celebrating his 86th birthday in april. we have seen him pairing back public commitments and so on. he believes that the energy required to lead the catholic church forward at this moment is beyond his capacities. and i think he's decided therefore, not to wait for a moment of crisis, but while he's still capable of doing so, to make the decision to step aside and let somebody else take the baton. >> reverend martin, people are using words like shocking, unprecedented, why is this such a surprise? why didn't anybody expect this except for his inner circle? >> well, it hasn't happened for centuries, and you know, as john allen was saying, there had been speculation, there was speculation about john paul ii and people knew benedict was frail and in a sense diminishing physically, but i think the fact it hadn't happened so long means i
, in one of the most famous vehicles in the world. as someone who had the occasion to see pope john paul ii several times, that the electricity in the crowd is something. while the vast majority of people in the crowd are catholics, they're not all catholics. some are not even believers. one of the things we saw extraordinarily in the final days of pope john paul and for the election of this pope, was the number of people who came to st. peter's square who said i'm atheist, i'min agnostic. i'm drawn by the history. i'm drawn by the tradition that there is a person in the world when is supposed to stand for the good things, for the power of this role. so there we see him in the popemobile making what, as we heard from ann thompson, will be two rounds. i know you've seen this before, father barron. it is a unique experience. >> it is that indeed. i always think of pope from popeye. he's the father. and you're right. i think it goes beyond the catholic church. you're looking at the most important figure in the world from a symbolic standpoint. >> george, give me your thoughts as you watch the
wanted to retire when he worked for john paul ii, asked him, john 35u8 ii, would not let that happen. he became pope after john paul ii died, but he never seemed to enjoy it the way john paul ii did, who was an actor. benedict is a scholar, a theologian, an intellectual, and today you could see the humility that those who know him very well say have always marked this 85-year-old man. >> certainly describing himself as a pilgrim is really extraordinary, and you get the feeling that the crowd, the audiences were responding to him in an emotional way that they hadn't previously. that i guess it's the moment the history, but also the sadness. i mean, this is a very bittersweet moment. >> well, it's -- it is. that's exactly the way to describe it. you know, it's interesting in st. peters square, they had the big jumbotrons out there, and people were gathered around and were actually silent in st. peters square watching what happened, and the last time i heard that kind of silence in st. peters square it was when they announced the death of john paul ii. you never heard a cell phone go off. y
ornamental gardens, as a small farm. john paul ii took wonderful walks here. benedict xvi i'm told is a much, much more private man, expected to spend a long time in his rooms here. he'll be here for about two months while they restore his home at the vatican where he will eventually spend the rest of his life. guys? >> all right, becky anderson, thank you very much. we'll check back in with you. >>> here to help us walk through today is monsignor rick hi hillgartner. i wanted to walk through what is going to happen today when the pope meets with the cardinals. can you walk us through that? >> sure. >> yesterday in st. peter's square there were upwards of 50,000 people or more giving that public witness. this will be the most with his closest collaborators over the years. the pope's personal collaborators are the bishops throughout the world and in a particular way it's the cardinals standing at the heart of those, many of the cardinals of the people who workday to day in the vatican who work with the pope on a regular basis. who see him week in, week out. the rest of the cardinals spread th
, he watched as a close advisor and close friend, john paul ii, in his last years as pope, and he saw not only the angst that john paul ii went through during that time of suffering, but he also saw how the vatican works when there's a pope that's not able to at his full capacity to do his job. something he obviously had in mind in the past that he could do it. it's very surprising he did. >>steve: father jonathan are you suggesting that the pope saw pope john paul ii in his declining years and said the people of the catholic community need a pope who's at 100% or as close to it as possible, so if i ever get to that stage i'm going to call it quits, and that's what he's doing? >> you know, it seems that that is a big part of his decision. we know how close he was to john paul ii. keep in mind, though, the pope is not a manager. this is why it's so shocking. the pope is not first and foremost the manager. he's the defender of the faith, protecting or guarding the teaching of the church and of the gospel. so you don't need somebody who is a stellar manager at his full capacity necessari
that led back to the vatican as well. a lot of questions about what it would be. john paul ii, thinking about resigning, prepared letters of resignation, and both from 197. he turned 75 and 80, never went ahead with the resignations that he was thinking about. but it will be interesting to hear more as we understand why the pope -- the reasons behind why the pope has been called to resign, which will happen on february 28th. >>> other stories making news this morning. john berman has that too. >>> talking about the storm here. families and businesses in seven counties trying to recover from a violent tornado that tore a path through southern mississippi on sunday. ripping apart homes, shops, and causing damage to a university campus. 4,000 homes are still without power. 16 people are injured. and a storm chaser captured this terrifying sight. a funnel cloud in hattiesburg. that took the brunt of a series of reported twisters that just pounded the region overnight. >>> meanwhile, the northeast beginning dig out of a history-making blizzard. parts of the region, including the hardest hit
to pope john paul ii. he talked to people about how his demise seemed somewhat of a dishonorable end to his papacy. he had in his mind already what type of glorious exit, to use the phrase, he may want in store for him. let's get some perspective as to what is coming out of the vatican as to why this is happening, what it means. john allen, our senior vatican analyst, joins us now. what do we know, john? >> reporter: what we know is that we are living through a day of enormous shock here in rome. not so much the pope benedict xvi chose to resign. he signaled two years ago that he would be open to doing that, but the fact that we had absolutely no indication this was coming today. precisely because of that, therefore, there are some enormous unanswered questions about how all of this is going to play out. i suppose the biggest questions would be, "a," what will the role of a retired pope be? will he continue to play any kind of public role? will he continue to exercise any influence on the future direction of catholicism almost whether he wants to or not? and the second obvious questi
april 2005 who took over for the immensely popular pope john paul ii. his papacy has been marked by controversy. the pope criticized for how he handled the situation in his prior jobs when he was archbishop in germany and later a top vatican official. on a visit to america in 2008, he became the first pope to meet with the victims themselves. on a lighter note, benedict has become known as his personal idiosyncracies like his bright red shoes. he's been using a moveable platform to carry him down the aisle of st. peters basilica. this morning after he made his announcement, he was helped down from his chair. while this is a surprise the pope has said in the past that he reserved the right to resign if he felt too old to perform his duties. what's next? he still hopes to serve the church through a life dedicated to prayer. elizabeth, back to you. >> greg, good morning to you. lot of people really surprised by the announcement this morning. some cardinals in the audience didn't understand what pope benedict was saying? >> that's also true. one of those occasions in rome the pope ac
is 85 years old. he became pope in 2005 after the baeth of john paul ii. likely take place before the end of march. the last pope to resign was way back in the 1200s 13th century. major headline today pope benedict xvi has announced he is resigning at the end of this month. much more on this to come throughout the morning. >> 7:30 right now. folks waking up to wet weather. >> a little bit of rain moving through overnight. the wet roadways will slow things down. but temperatures in the mid 30s, at least we're not doing ice. let's get to the maps. most of the vain now to the east. still pressing just east of the bay there out towards saint michaels. still getting rain showers. however, here locally in the metro area, up and down the 95 correspond door, we're generally done with the rain. not going to be a beautiful day. clouds for most of the day. for the most part, most of the measurable rain has pushed east of the bay. it will be east of those areas the next hour or two. let me show you the bigger picture. the bottom line is we have a warm front into the area later today. you are
step down. it's something that nobody's even considered in modern times. even john paul 2 who was much more ill or much more tired looking and ill, of course. he was very ill than pope benedict xvi looks and he said i had enough of this and just going to retire and read and live a spiritual life until the end and leave it with somebody younger and stamina. who that guy or pope will be, we don't know yet. we'll know soon. >> all right. thank you very much, claudio. let's bring in nbc news vatican analyst george wigle and father thomas at georgetown university. gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. george, you have been on air all pretty much throughout the day. your initial reaction to this news, especially knowing what the pope said two years ago? >> i wasn't surprised at the fact, tamron. but i was a little surprised at the timing but the more i think about it during the day, the fact that the pope has done this in such a way that the college of cardinals will be meeting during lent, a traditional season of reflection, self examination, examination of conscious, if you will. in
pastor and we got that with john paul who also, by the way had pretty good managerial skills. we got with pope benedict xvi a brilliant mind and ability to teach and preach. now i hear some of my brother cardinals say, but we should also look for somebody with some pretty good managerial skills to bring the roman curia as an agent of evangelization and not to -- so if that means some type of renewal, if that needs some type of attention, so be it. >> reporter: as one cardinal put it to me scott, there's so many things needed in the new pope that it would be almost impossible to find it all in one man, but they do know that they need to deal with the mess that is the roman catholic curia at the moment, the church governance and also the ongoing problem of the sex abuse scandal. that is going to weigh heavily on the new pope scott. >> alan thank you very much. the banner that we see there says pope benedict thank you and we love you. the people that we saw gathering outside the papal apartments in san de maso courtyard are some of the folks who have worked for the p
. >> and john paul would have been. >> a movie star. >> that gives you a sense of the different temperaments. yet the emotion that is now being really demonstrated as these cardinals say farewell face to face for the last time, all of them kissing the fisherman's ring which we know will be defaced and destroyed which benedict xvi's papacy ends. >> that's right. there are two instruments of the papal office, one is the ring and one is the official papal seal. the seal is kept in a safe in an office in the vatican. of course in the middle ages as you know, christiane be these were what were used to stamp paper bulls. which made them official. after a papacy had ended, someone might use the instruments to falsify papal documents. that's where the custom of destroying them came from. that will be honored at the end of benedict's papacy as well. >> thank you. we'll continue to watch this with all of you. back to you, john and zoraida in new york. >> it is interesting to see this as history is being made at the vatican. pope benedict xvi saying good-bye to the cardinals who have assembled and many
suffering is meant to respond to that. he's well aware of what john paul ii did, for instance, stay in office until the very end, suffering physically. and in an extreme and public way was legitimate. he's saying, given the situation -- >> and as you look back over his -- >> such that he's -- so far. >> excuse me, father. as you look back over his papacy, what will he will remembered most for? >> i think he'll be remembered, above all, as a teaching pope for his books about the life, his encyclicals. the books about the life of jesus have been profound. it will take years to unpack all of the profundity of his thought. he's done a great service to the church already in his service to john paul ii. >> father john wauck, thank you very much. the first pope to have an account on twitter. >> the first pope ever to tweet. he's 85 years old. pope john paul ii was 84 when he died. wlerned after he died he considered twice resigning because of his ill health. this sets up a political process with the conclave electing the next pope. dan harris joining us on this discussion. it was a quick p
this happened eight years ago when john paul died. you have this uncertainty. but you also have this other thing which is entirely new. 8:00 tonight, it's over. >> and to a certain extent, the pope and his cardinals are writing the rule books as we go along. one of these issues is, how much fanfare does the pope want as he says his good-bye. we saw the final audience yesterday. he had this emotional meeting with the cardinals this morning. is this the good-bye that he wanted? >> this is the good-bye, definitely. i mean, the people cheering right now are people in the secular state who work where i do. just two floors above where they are, the domicile. i think it's important that they were able to say good-bye. they didn't want anything huge. he had that with the audience. he's not somebody that likes big celebrations in general. i think it's only right that the people who worked with him, his clollaborators got to give him sendoff. >> as we watch his ride to the top of the hill to a white helicopter. a short ride to castel gandolfo, about 20 miles out of rome, it's his residence. and then the p
benedict who stepped in and became pope after pope john paul ii, the iconic pope of the 20th century, stepped down. of course, pope john paul ii had been pope since 1979. and so, of course, his impact felt not only in the religious world but also the political world. pope benedict, though, never really, of course, given the chance to emerge from the shadows. and it seems that for a good bit of his time, he was dogged by allegations that came through the child abuse scandal throughout certainly before his reign. he was constantly being dogged by questions regarding that. but mark halperin, an iconic figure replaced by pope benedict who has had a very short tenure and now is stepping down in a way that a lot of popes don't step down before they die. >> short tenure, and it's going to be scrutinized for some of the issues you raised. to me now thinking forward, it's going to be a very big story for catholics and others around the world including the question of will it be another european? there's going to be pressure to look to another region of the country as there was last time. i th
actually wanted to retire before he became pope. that pope john paul ii really needed him and wanted him around and discouraged him from those very thoughts. it is said that he will be leaving that congregation of cloistered nuns in the vatican. there he will pray and probably write. bill. >> bill: amy kellogg, thank you. reportingreporting from rome lie tonight in that fox report. president obama's offering appreciation and prayers for the pope. now he and the first lady have warm memories of their meeting with the holy father in 2009 at the time a spokesman said the pope was very impressed with the president and for his part the president said he looked forward to a very strong relationship between the united states and the vatican. today, the president said in part, quote: the church plays a critical role in the united states and the world and i wish the best of those who will soon gather to choose his holiness pope benedict the xvith successor. house speaker john boehner said the prayers and gratitude of american catholics are with pope benedict xvi today. our team fox coverage cont
was elected as a caretaker pope. following john paul ii. that was a hard act to follow. they were looking for an elderly pontiff who would not be in position for that long and also there was no way anybody was going to top john paul ii in terms of charisma, in reaching out to the young, and, unfortunately, they didn't get a salgzman for catholicism in this particular pope, which will be a very important ingredient for the next one. >> he also had the burdens of dealing with the scandals after 27 years of john paul ii. he had to focus on the apology, the fact that he had actually met individually in his role as cardinal ratzinger investigating some of the problems of the abuse in the american church. >> he did go some way in terms of, you know, issuing an apology from the pope as a pretty lofty ideal, but, many of the, we still have a problem, many of the, worldwide with the sex scandal and the catholic church. they haven't addressed it at all levels. the vatican can pools. they can set lawsuits. there are a lot of damaged people out there who were basically abused as children, and no matt
for being more consived than john paul 2nd. many say he is more scholarly. and sought to return the church to its roots and left a church reeling with sex scandals and declipping numbers. what else are experts saying about the legacy? >> well, he led the catholic church, of course, for seven years, ten months, and nine days, in total. a not insignificant time. experts all say he will be seen as a transitional rather than a transformational pope. that is not to say some of his actions weren't significant, though. for instance, they say that his outreach to the muslim world, including visiting the blue mosque in turkey, was a very significant action, and, according to greg tobin, he was the first pope to truly face up to see sex abuse scandal. listen. >> he will bled as someone who did more than anyone else before him, that's foresheet. john paul ii left a legacy of inaction and avoidance, and benedict faced it head on and before he became pope he was aware of many of these cases, and he also engaged in a personal outreach to victims in a way that no one has -- very few bishops in the world
at the vatican. pope benedict carries the stigma of not being as popular as his predecessor, john paul ii. the monsignor of the shrine in washington puts it in perspective. >> christ was controversial. the things that jesus did. the way that he reached out to people. the way he talked to people. the types of people he talked to. it upsettle, many people. >> reporter: and tom roberts points out that pope benedict will be remembered as well for doing more to actually address the abuse scandal than his predecessor john paul ii ever did. wolf. >> as you know, pope benedict was also involved in a controversy in the united states over the actions of some american nuns. remind our viewers about this. >> reporter: that's right, not long ago, some american nuns challenged the church's teachings on home sexuality, on the male only priesthood. they supported obama's health care plan when the church spoke out against it. these nuns ended up being reprimanded. the nuns got a lot of support within the united states for their actions. it was controversial for the pope. he was also prompted to do that by
, in our lifetime, pope paul the vi was in his 80s and pope john paul ii was 85. it depends. it depends. what the cardinals are looking for, what the cardinals are seeking in someone to take pope benedict's place, in my mind, we watched pope john paul become a grandfather. pope benedict walked out on the world stage as a grandfather, it was a interesting and different experience of his fatherly qualities, as you know, from having met him, the gentle kind way that he had. but, you know, i think that depends on what the college of cardinals is looking for. pope benedict was a teacher and he spent his time teaching and he taught well and with great clarity. so, it is a matter of preference of the college of cardinals and as we believe in the church the working of the holy spirit. >> we will stay in close touch with you, bishop. thank you so much, and thank you for everything that you have done. thanks for inviting me to catholic university, i appreciate it and thank you for coming here to the situation room. >> it was great to be with you, wolf, you take care. god bless. >> a guy with a un
is going to resign his position. the end of the month. and, you know, he succeeded john paul ii who has rushed to make a saint. wrongly so, i think. not that he doesn't deserve it. you need some time. also the pope has said this is not the first -- not the first pope to retire. popes can retire. we are used to popes dying in. right? and most of them have. but a little quick research as we were getting ready to come on the air which is why i am not fully in uniform yet this morning. i will take care of this right now, the last pope i could find to resign was pope gregory xii. >> i don't remember him. >> bill: you wouldn't. back in the 15th century around 1415 or so there have been maybe a half a dozen popes to resign. he is the last one i could find. >> wow. >> yeah. there are a lot of explanations out there on twitter, supposedly for the vatican sort of indirectly saying it's for health reasons. he doesn't have the strength to serve in this role any more. so we don't know exactly what that means. there were rumors when he would resign when his butler wa
not been the most popular pope. he followed in the footsteps of john paul the ii who was such a global superstar. upon his departure a lot of people are feeling that they didn't really know what they would be missing. they've come to appreciate his cerebral intellect, his kindness, his gentle necessary and we spoke to gregg burke a short while ago, here is what he had to say about today. >> it's sad to see the pope leave saint peters, but on the other hand it's beautiful to see the pope happy and at peace. you can tell he is somebody who has been struggling physically. to think okay i'm not baggy to have all this weight on my shoulders is beautiful. >> gregg of course, one of our colleagues now working at the senior communications adviser for the vatican, very much in tune of what is going on and talked a lot about the serenity the pope is feeling now. there will be a short ceremony with the swiss guards. you may have seen footage of them colorfully dressed. that is the papal protection squad and the pope will board the helicopter to castle gandolfo where he will become pope emeritus a
's -- he succeeded pope john paul ii who was extremely popular and who reigned for over 20 years and did extensive amounts of traveling endured especially by young -- endeared especially by young people and there was an assassination attempt on him and he forgave the person who wanted it three to -- who wanted to try to shoot hill. it's been an interesting reign for the pope. it's just about to end. >> they say many at the vatican were stunned by the news he was resigning. there were others who saw it as a sign of humility and humanity, a fact that he was being rationle that he didn't feel he would -- rational, that he didn't feel he would do the job anymore. >> and there were concerns that he couldn't deal with some of the scandals that started to rock the catholic church. he just maintained it was for his health and purely humble reasons that he wanted to step down and step april side. once again, a -- aside. once again a beautiful picture from the helipad. which i guess you don't see very often outside of the vatican, outside of the walls of vatican. >> as we watch these live picture,
political relevant today in some ways that it's ever been. think about it. we saw during john paul's reign that he played a central role in the collapse of european communism by inspiring the solidarity movement in poland. the people's power movement in the philippines that brought down the marxist regime would never have happened without the political involvement of the catholic church. scholars these days are writing books about the revenge of god, that religion is making a comeback as a political player. two-thirds of the 1.2 billion catholics in the world today live outside the west, and most live in societies where religion is critically important, so, yeah, i would say there's still some gas left in the church's political gas tank. >> john, real quickly, only a couple of seconds left here, but what do you know specifically in regards to what they are looking for for a pope? stances on abortion, same-sex marriage, that kind of thing. >> reporter: well, all these cardinals have been appointed by john paul and benedict so they are all in agreement on the main. of course they are looking
, especially considering that he comes after john paul ii, a man at 85 who was able to neither walk or speak really was mumble, towards the end of his life. pope benedict is saying i don't have it anymore. i don't have the strength anymore to bear the -- my mission to carry on the catholic church. >> claudio, is there concern or some speculation that there might be more to the story than that? is there some concern that in fact, there is some health situation that we are not aware of? >> there is a concern. pope benedict xvi has been weak. we never really got his health situation from the vatican. the vatican has always been very secretive about the health of any pope really. we don't really know the extent of the health problems that pope benedict xvi might be suffering right now. but certainly or hopefully we will get to know much more during the next hours. >> talk to me about how the process unfolds. i any a lot of us are familiar with what happens in the tragic event or unfortunate event that a pope passes away. but what would the process be like now if he has now told the world that
to meet the pope then john paul the 2nd. then what happened happened and my mother found herself representing bill clinton to the pope. >> how exciting for her. >> it was a challenge. >> i guess it was. >> e.j. this morning quotes somebody who says the most noted earnize i earnizing -- modernizing thing this pope did was to retire, get out of the way. could it be at this modern age a pope just can't afford to be seen frail and weakened in the 24/7 news cycle? are we moving beyond the days? >> i don't think that's necessarily true. john paul felt strongly he wanted the world to see him in a sickened state because that was humanity. that he was setting an example of someone who was frail and feeble and carrying on. i think this pope, you know, has decided to set a different example. we'll see what this precedent means. does it mean future popes have to be pushed out? does he have influence after a new pope is manamed? we're in unchartered waters. >> and in quite a while, we'll see -- >> they have their own camp david. >> with the choicloisted nuns. they'll probably get better food.
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